- With Mayo Clinic nurse educator
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.read biographyclose window
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.Sheryl M. Ness
Sheryl Ness, R.N., O.C.N., is a nurse educator for the Cancer Education Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She helps inform patients, families and caregivers about services and resources to help them through the cancer journey.
She has a master's degree in nursing from Augsburg College. In addition, she is an assistant professor of oncology at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and is certified as a specialist in oncology nursing. Sheryl has worked for more than 20 years at Mayo Clinic as an educator. She has a keen interest in the importance of the quality of life and concerns of people living with cancer.
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Life and death — Ideas to help you find peace
By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
A while back, we had a discussion about grief and dealing with a terminal diagnosis. Many of you shared your perspectives on having a terminal diagnosis, the grieving process or the death of someone you love. It seems like another discussion on preparing for death might also be important.
Unfortunately, the word "cancer" can bring unwanted fear and anger — emotions that either you or those around you might experience. We all know that we will die some day. It's just that the exact circumstances (when, where and how) are unknown. However, rather than deal with this idea with fear, why not treat this as a time to think about living and dying with the idea of compassion and kindness for yourself and your family.
It's true that most people don't want to discuss dying, but if you're interested in finding some peace for yourself, you might consider a couple of these ideas:
- Reflect on the positive aspects of your life; find strength in your deepest values.
- Keep in mind what is most important to you (in life and after you are gone).
- Write or tell stories of your fondest memories for your friends and family to reflect on now and later.
- Inquire early about hospice care. Getting hospice involved earlier rather than later can make such a difference. Hospice care has a holistic approach and can assist you and your family with the entire process of approaching your last days and months in a positive manner.
- Talk about, or write down what you want to happen after you are gone — this might include funeral planning, memorial ideas and any special requests related to the giving of meaningful personal items to others.
My wish for this discussion is to give you the freedom to reflect on the idea and talk with others about what you need.blog index Previous page Next page